After successful completion of the Felician postulancy, women are admitted into the novitiate where, as novices, they enter into a more contemplative time—a time of deep reflection, study, prayer, and discovery.
It is a time like no other in their lives. It is a time set apart, explicitly dedicated to deepening understanding of self and of one’s relationship with God, the Church, and the Felician community.
Housed on the grounds of Our Lady of the Angels Convent in Enfield, CT, the Felician novitiate is a two-year period of formation rooted in daily prayer and the Eucharist that blends classroom study, outreach ministry and overall development. Having been given her religious name upon entrance into the novitiate, each novice now bears the title of “Sister.” And each novice now chooses to wear either the Felician religious habit with the traditional white veil of the novitiate or the modified religious habit with no veil.
The novitiate is a time of discernment and of development unique to each woman. The Felician novitiate accepts each woman for who she is and what stage of life she is in. Although there is a prescribed two-year course of study, guidelines are created that address each woman’s particular journey, whether in the curriculum, in outreach experiences, or through individual conferences. It is a time set apart for her. There is no “cookie-cutter” approach here.
Balance of Prayer and Service
Year one and year two of the novitiate are decidedly unique—forming a blended experience that teaches the novices what the “active-contemplative” nature of the Felician community truly means—that to live life as a Felician is to live a life that balances prayer with service to others. They learn that prayer and daily Eucharist supports, nourishes, and directs the Sisters’ outreach efforts in service to others.
Year one, known as the Canonical Year, is a relatively solitary year as each woman focuses on coursework, prayer, and a deepening of her relationship with God, community, and self.
The second year, or Apostolic Year, finds the women continuing in classroom study—especially study of vowed life—with a new emphasis on apostolic service, going outside of the novitiate for several months to live in Felician communities across North America as they serve in established Felician ministries from California to eastern Canada.
A holistic program, the novitiate strives to develop a balance cultivating the spiritual and psychological dimensions of each novice as well as her physical, emotional, and personal well-being.